SHANGHAI (May 4, 1:35 p.m. ET) — China's leading bioplastics firm Wuhan Huali Environmental Technology Co. Ltd. has broken ground for what the company said will become the most automated, technologically intensive and largest production site in China's bioplastics industry.
The company held a ground-breaking ceremony in Wuhan on March 29, Betty Ren, assistant to marketing director, told Plastics News at Chinaplas 2012. The facility sits on about 9 acres, with 301,000 square feet of building space planned.
To add to the company's existing 88 million pounds of capacity, the new project's first phase is scheduled to bring 66 million pounds of plastarch material capacity on stream by the end of November. The second phase will double annual capacity to 132 million pounds by 2014. The new facility will make PSM resin as well as finished products.
The project has been making rapid progress, said Zhang Xianbing, chairman of Wuhan Huali, in a statement. The company was able to start the construction just three months after it began acquiring land, thanks to support from the local government on speedy approval and connection of utilities.
The privately owned company received a $30 million investment from the Standard Chartered Bank in December. It said at the time that the investment was going into a new plant as well as possible mergers and acquisitions.
At this year's Chinaplas, the company showcased its PSM-brand PSM materials for both injection molding and blow molding applications as well its EcoKeep–brand housewares products made of PSM. The EcoKeep line now includes more than 20 product categories and sells in more than 2,000 stores across
Chinese consumers are getting more enthusiastic about eco-friendly products, giving a major boost to the company's domestic business, said Ren. In the meantime, the EcoKeep products manage to stay price-competitive, selling at “about the same prices as products made of petro-based plastics products.”
The company, which also uses the name Ecoplast to conduct business, said it supplies biodegradable packaging to Fortune 500 customers. It is
In addition to materials and finished products, the company also makes PSM processing machinery.
While the company's molding business mainly focuses on housewares and consumer products, Zhang expressed interest in higher-value-added applications, such as automotive and industrial equipment. “Those will be the most profitable areas for the bioplastics industry,” he said.